Who do you like to pray with? Depending on how introvert or extrovert we are, we may find it easer to pray on our own or in groups. Yet, even when we pray on our own, do we ever really pray alone?
- “Whenever two or three of you come together in my name, I am there with you.” (Matthew 18:20, CEV)
Jesus promised his disciples that he would be there with them when they gathered in his name. There would always be an extra member at any prayer meeting – Jesus himself.
This is a great encouragement, especially if our prayer meetings feel somewhat routine or if we despair that more people don’t want to join us. We are there together as God’s people and this means that Jesus is there with us. There is always that promise that the greatest VIP we could ever wish to attend our meetings is in fact present by his Spirit.
But, this is apparently not the only way in which our prayer times are blessed by the presence of an incredible prayer warrior. Whether we are gathered in pairs or groups or even on our own, there is always someone else who is praying with us and for us:
- “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.” (Romans 8:26-27, NIV)
- “Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised— who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.” (Romans 8:34, ESV)
The Spirit helps us to pray. Even when we are at our lowest, finding it impossible to know what words to use and struggling on our own, the Spirit is there, praying with us and translating our needs and desires to the Father.
Intercessory prayer is prayer that is done on behalf of someone else. It is something that we might think of as part of our personal and corporate prayer life. Amazingly, it is also part of the inner conversations of the Trinity. The Son and the Spirit are always there interceding – praying for us – whether we realise their presence or not.
How might you remind yourself when you pray (either alone or with others) of the presence of Jesus and the interceding power of the Spirit? How might a greater awareness of the Son & Spirit praying with, through and for you enhance your own prayer life?
© Joe Lenton, July 2012